From The Straits Times    |

Photo: H&M


After first collaborating in 2017 for the hit fantasy-romance Chinese television series Eternal Love, stars Mark Chao and Yang Mi have paired up again this year for H&M’s 2018 Chinese New Year campaign.

Against a movie set backdrop, the duo modelled a capsule collection of Chinese New Year-themed looks from the Swedish brand. The collection was launched on Jan 25.

Over email, they share their thoughts on working together for the second time, and reveal their plans for the upcoming Chinese New Year.



Photo: H&M


1. How was it like working with each other again in this campaign?

Mark: Prior to working with Yang Mi, everyone has been telling me how she is a really nice and generous person. After working together with her, she is everything that they mentioned and even more. She is confident and straightforward, which I really respect her for. The campaign shoot went on very smoothly and Yang Mi’s cheerful personality brought a positive vibe to the entire set.

Yang Mi: It is great to be able to work with Mark again after Eternal Love. We had good rapport during the campaign shoot since we have worked together before and it’s also a brand that we both love. The setting and ambience during the shoot really translated the celebratory feeling of Chinese New Year, especially with the old Chinese garden and red lanterns. The collection is also bright and cheery and I really liked it. It was Mark’s birthday during the shoot, so we prepared a mini celebration for him. It was a lot of fun working together on this campaign.


Photo: H&M


2. What are your upcoming filming plans?

Mark: Originally, Till the End of the World was supposed to be released at the end of 2017 but we decided to release it only after we’ve perfected the film. We are still working on the exact release date but it will be in Spring 2018. My next upcoming movie will be Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings, which will be out this summer and I hope everyone will like it.

Yang Mi: I just completed filming Legend of Fuyao which took some time as it is a drama series. As such, I’m currently catching up on my “work debt” and completing prior work commitments. With regards to upcoming plans, nothing is set in stone yet, but I’m looking forward to working hard in the new year.


Photo: H&M


3. How are you spending Chinese New Year this year?

Mark: I will definitely be spending time with my family. I’m hoping to plan something special but that would really depend on our schedules.

Yang Mi: This Chinese New Year I’m looking forward to staying home and taking a break from work. I love spending time with my family during Chinese New Year, staying up late on New Year’s eve and eating dumplings.


Photo: H&M


4. What are your thoughts about this H&M collection?

Yang Mi: It’s very festive, I like it a lot. I love how the collection has so many choices of red apparel, alongside other matching colours such as muted pinks, to balance the total look without being overly loud. The styles are so modern that I can keep them in my closet throughout the year.

Mark: I love its sense of playfulness and festivity. There are joyful pieces that I’d both wear as everyday street looks, or out to a celebration. I am always scrambling for red outfits to wear every year, but this year, I have more than I can count. Some even come with cute dog motifs. My mum will finally get off my back about my (CNY) outfits.


Photo: H&M


5. Describe your personal style.

Mark: I prefer a casual and relaxed style. The colours black, white and grey make up the majority of my wardrobe.

Yang Mi: I go for simple and relaxed styles as comfort is important to me. I like that H&M is about dressing your personality and there is no “fixed style” as it is all about what you like.


Photo: H&M


6. What are your favourite pieces from the collection? What would you pick for your spouses?

Mark: My favourite items would be the hoodie with dog print, the sweatshirt and the stadium jacket. They are cool and chic. For my wife Yuan Yuan, I’d pick the red floral printed dress, it’s simple and chic.

Yang Mi: I absolutely love the floral dress! The bell sleeve detail makes the dress modern and flirty, while the floral print perfectly signifies the coming of Spring, which coincides perfectly with the greeting of Spring.


Photo: H&M

7. Suggest some Chinese New Year styling tips.

Mark: I always care about what I’m wearing, especially during the Lunar New Year when we have to meet many people. I believe in finding the right balance between traditions and expressing your own style. You don’t have to be flashy with a head-to-toe red outfit; sometimes it’s the simple details that actually makes your look personal.

Yang Mi: Red is a tricky colour, so explore different shades of red such as burgundy or light rose. Or go for accessories – a red purse, or tassel or floral earrings. If you’re not into red, opt for gold accessories to add a bit of sparkle and fun to the outfit.